September 12, 2008

Mortar Explodes Near US Mining Site in Indonesia’s Papua – Kyodo

Text of report in English by Japan's largest news agency Kyodo

Jakarta: A small mortar shell exploded Thursday [11 September] near a US copper and gold mine operated by Freeport McMoran Copper & Gold Inc. in the most eastern Indonesian province Papua, but no casualties were reported, local police and a company source said Friday.

Papua Police Chief Bagus Eko Danto told Kyodo News from the provincial capital Jayapura the explosion occurred near the mining area of P.T. Freeport Indonesia.

"Investigation is still ongoing, involving several institutions including the country's counterterrorism police unit Detachment 88," Danto said.

A Freeport source told Kyodo News the explosion was from mortar shells.

"We don't know yet the owner of the mortars. The two incidents did not occur in our operational area but in the lowland area," the source added.

Later, National Police spokesman Abubakar Nataprawira told a press conference the explosion occurred at 9 p.m. Thursday near the mining area of P.T. Freeport Indonesia.

"The explosion came from a small mortar shell," Nataprawira confirmed, adding a second mortar shell was found in the same area, but it did not go off.

"The explosion was sparked by a stove put near the mortar (shells)," he said.

Nataprawira added investigations continue to determine the ownership of the shells and whether or not the Freeport mining operation was being targeted.

Originally published by Kyodo News Service, Tokyo, in English 0729 12 Sep 08.

(c) 2008 BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.